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The spirit of Eurovision is being brought into care homes across Liverpool

12 months ago

The spirit of Eurovision is being brought into care homes across Liverpool

Care home residents across Merseyside are set to join in the fun of Eurovision this May, through a series of initiatives and events by arts organisations across the region.

Working with Liverpool City Council, National Museums Liverpool, Nwoko Arts and A Handbag of Harmonies will bring the joy of Eurovision to people living with dementia and other neurological conditions, through an immersive digital experience, performance and music.

The initiative aims to bring the celebrations to older people in care homes. Each organisation has developed their own special experience to celebrate with people who would not be able to attend other Eurovision celebrations.

Created through National Museums Liverpool’s award-winning House of Memories dementia programme, Eurovision Memories is an initiative that delves into the history of the contest through care home resident’s own personal memories.

Eurovision
Credit: National Museums Liverpool

Using House of Memories’ dementia-friendly ‘On the Road’ bus, residents will select their own musical preferences, from the very first contest through to ABBA and other favourites, to create their own immersive Eurovision-style competition – complete with costumes and microphones for the full song contest experience!

Performing across 20 care homes in the Liverpool City Region, Songs for Europe presented by Nwoko Arts is a participatory experience created by and for care home residents, particularly those living with Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases, and their loved ones. The production uses interviews with care home residents capturing the thoughts about love, peace, unity and hope, as well as memories of fashions from 1950s to 1980s.

Eurovision
Credit: Unity Theatre

Songs for Europe will premiere at Unity Theatre on 28 and 29  April. The project has been commissioned by Culture Liverpool, as part of the EuroStreet Programme, and supported with funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Spirit of 2012 and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The feather boa-clad A Handbag of Harmonies will bring their own unique party directly to care homes. The women’s choir from Chester, led by musical director Matt Baker, will perform a medley of Eurovision classics with handbag-swinging choreography to care home residents across the region.

Working alongside Liverpool City Council, all the initiatives were created to ensure older people can enjoy Eurovision in the city, particularly those living with conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s in care home settings don’t miss out.

Eurovision
Credit: A Handbag of Harmonies

Carol Rogers, director of House of Memories at National Museums Liverpool, said:

“Eurovision Memories will enable some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable city elders to have the opportunity to take part in the 2023 Eurovision celebrations.

“We want to make sure this year’s Eurovision is as age-inclusive as possible. By taking Eurovision Memories out to care home settings, we’ll bring the spirit and fun of the competition to elders in the city, giving them the chance to join in with Liverpool’s big Eurovision party.”

Alicia Smith, Interim Divisional Manager Arts, Heritage, Libraries & Participation at Culture Liverpool, said: 

EuroStreet is part of our commitment as a host city to ensure everybody across Liverpool City Region has a chance to be part of the magic of Eurovision. We know not everybody will be able to make it into the city centre for the celebrations so we’re breaking down barriers and taking Eurovision right out to people’s doorsteps.”

You can find out more about EuroStreet, and other community events taking place during Eurovision, by clicking here.

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